Sunday, June 23, 2013

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit: The Highest Pass in the World! (Day 9)

This is the fifth of a few blog posts that are after-the-fact transcribed from my trekking notes. Some are more complete posts, some are more thoughts along the road as Sister2 and I take on Nepal for a month!

I can't say that I particularly enjoyed today, but I am glad it happened. 

Going up. Slowly slowly.

We started our day's trek from High Camp for a brutal 2-hour 60-meter climb to Thorong La Pass -- the highest pass in the world at 5416 meters. We slowly slowly hiked through a Mars-sequences rocky landscape, with the occasional mountain peeping through the clouds.

The past two days of major elevation gain + super-thin air + burning quads + general exhaustion (we couldn't sleep last night because we were so sore/tight that our muscles see all twitchy and unable to get comfortable) made for a veeeeery slow and arduous ascent.

But at 9 am we made it to the top! Congratulations to us! We celebrated with crackers and peanut butter, basking in the glory of our own awesomeness. I'm kind of kidding, but kind of not...if trekking were a competition we would have dominated, for serious. Turns out, trekking is my (and Sister2's) jam!

On top of Thorong Pass.
After the pass, we still had a ways to go, down down down the long and differently difficult descent.

Heading down from the pass.
 After two hours of excruciatingly steep rocky downhill trail, fueled only by the aforementioned crackers and some very watery and unsatisfying oatmeal (I'm sorry to report that the food at High Camp is NOT GOOD), we finally made it to a tea house they encouraged us to "thinks of your nutrition." ON IT. Instead of our usual shared plate of momos or pizza, we went big and got "spring rolls" that came more like Nepali empanadas, and a very large plate of "fried potato egg cheese," four of Sister2's favorite things.

Oh I AM thinksing of my nutrition! Aka HUNGRY.
Now we're in our destination town of  Mukinath, and we smell BAD. (We long ago reached the point at which everything smells at least a little but funky, and "clean" just means you haven't worn it in the last 24 hours.) So now it's shower time, then food time. Yaaaaay!!!

On the way into Mukinath.